Melanoma Cancer: Symptoms and Treatments

There are many types of skin cancer, but melanoma is one of the most dangerous types because it can spread to other parts of the body if not detected and treated early. Fortunately, recent years have seen an increase in melanoma education so more people know the importance of caring properly for their skin and watching for any skin irregularities. This makes it easier for treatments like melanoma surgery in Orange County to be successful. Here’s what you need to know about detecting and treating melanoma.

Melanoma ABCDEs

While most moles aren’t cause for concern, some mole irregularities could indicate melanoma. An easy way to remember what to look for is ABCDE. A is for asymmetry. Moles should be a typical round shape; irregularly shaped moles could indicate the presence of cancer. B is border. The edge of the mole should be smooth and not have notches or irregularities. C, color, means that the mole should have an even color without dark spots. D is for diameter. Moles should usually only be the size of a pencil eraser or smaller. Any moles larger than this should be checked out. Finally, E is for evolving. If there is any change to the mole, such as a different shape, texture, color, or size, you should have it looked at.

Other Symptoms

Melanoma isn’t always just present in moles. For instance, melanoma on the nose in Orange County could look like a red, swollen spot that may itch or be tender. In fact, any redness or other pigment accompanied by swelling that’s spreading outside the border of a spot to the surrounding skin could indicate melanoma. Additionally, sores that don’t heal; itchy, tender, or painful areas of skin; or even blurry vision or dark spots in the iris could be melanoma. Any skin irregularities should be checked by a dermatologist, even areas that have rarely been exposed to the sun.

Melanoma Treatment

Any suspicious areas will be partially or wholly removed by a dermatologist so that a sample can be sent to the lab to confirm melanoma. Melanoma surgery in Orange County is the first treatment done because the cancer must first be removed. The dermatologist removes the melanoma as well as a margin around the cancer to ensure it’s all removed. Depending on the depth of the cancer and whether it’s spread or not, other treatment like lymph node removal surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or radiation therapy may be needed as well.